Protecting 'digital gold'

aka data

Data is perceived as good as gold in the digital world we live in today and protecting the data needs effort and investment. There have been several privacy legislations enacted in the last few years to protect personal information, Protection of Personal Information (POPIA) is the recent one that has been put in effect in South Africa. These regulations prescribe lawful use of data collected by businesses and provide specific rights to data subjects (to which the data relates), such as the right of access/deletion/objection, to avoid misuse of the information. 


Non-compliances to the regulation often result in heavy penalties and loss of reputation. According to GDPR Enforcement Tracker website, there have been 381 reported instances of imposing fines and penalties as high as €50 million. These instances are attributed to an “insufficient legal basis for data processing.” There are other instances of seeking higher penalties. According to one instance posted on the Information Commissioner (ICO), UK website “following an extensive investigation the ICO has issued a notice of its intention to fine British Airways £183.39M for infringements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”. With these regulations in place, protecting personal data is often considered more of a liability than an asset and adds to the cost the doing business.